Gynecological Procedures at Vascular and Interventional Partners
Have you been diagnosed with pelvic congestion syndrome or uterine fibroids? Were you prescribed countless medications only to find little to no relief? Then you might be a good candidate for one of our non-surgical, catheter-based procedures performed in our clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.
At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we specialize in Interventional Radiology (IR) and offer treatment options for a wide range of women's health conditions, including pelvic congestion syndrome and uterine fibroids. Our treatments are minimally invasive and performed using the latest technology and the most current equipment.
Ovarian Vein Embolization
Ovarian vein embolization (OVE) is an IR procedure performed for the treatment of pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS).
PCS results from varicose (swollen and enlarged) veins forming inside the pelvic region. It often leads to a constant and dull ache in the lower abdomen that worsens while standing. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are most likely to be affected. While some women can successfully manage PCS with pain medication, others have found great relief with OVE, which is the only successful treatment option for this particular condition.
OVE works by closing off faulty varicose veins using embolic agents, which prevents blood from pooling in them, thus relieving pain.
The procedure is performed by specially trained interventional radiologists. During the procedure, your doctor will make a 3 mm incision, usually around the groin area. They will then place a catheter in the treatment area using x-ray image guidance. Once the catheter has reached the varicose veins in the pelvis, your doctor releases embolic agents, which are materials that block faulty blood vessels.
The OVE procedure can take as little as 30 minutes to a couple of hours. The duration of your procedure will largely depend on how complex and severe your condition is. Most of our patients can expect to go home within a couple of hours after their procedure. Full recovery takes place within seven days.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an IR procedure performed to treat uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas, are benign growths of the uterus that usually affect women in their childbearing years. They are made up of muscle or fibrous tissue and can appear anywhere on the uterus. They can vary in size and number significantly and can cause symptoms such as:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower back pain
- Leg pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
UFE blocks blood flow to uterine fibroids using embolic agents. This causes them to shrink in size as well as soften, which relieves pressure and pain. It is a non-surgical treatment with a relatively high success rate.
During a UFE procedure, one of our interventional radiologists makes a small cut in your upper thigh or groin region to access the femoral artery. They then guide a thin catheter through your femoral artery and toward your uterus using x-ray guided imaging (fluoroscopy). They apply an embolic (blocking) agent to the arteries supplying the fibroids with blood.
The UFE procedure takes between one and three hours and is done under moderate sedation and local anesthesia. Once the procedure is complete, your VIP doctor will remove the catheter and apply pressure to the surgical site to prevent bleeding. Usually, patients do not require stitches, and scarring is minimal.
After your procedure, you will need to spend only a couple of hours in the clinic so that we can monitor your recovery carefully. We will provide you with home care instructions, pain medications and antibiotics upon your discharge.
It is normal to experience mild to moderate pelvic pain within 12 hours after your procedure. Flu-like symptoms and nausea are also common following UFE, which you can manage with adequate fluid intake, medication and bed rest.
At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we know that female health needs to be taken seriously and that gynecological problems can interfere with a woman’s quality of life. We also know that patients prefer the most effective and minimally invasive treatment options available, so we help women find relief from uterine fibroids and pelvic congestion syndrome using the latest IR embolization techniques.
To learn more about these procedures and find out if one is right for you, contact us or call us today at (480) 435-9100.